Organizational Wellness

Mission vs. Vision Statements: What’s the Difference?

Oct 31, 2023
Last Updated Oct 31, 2023

When you’re heading out for a road trip, what do you need? Most likely, you’ll need a destination you want to reach and some kind of navigation to actually get there. A business needs a destination and navigation as well, and many organizations get those from their mission and vision statements.

There is power in great mission and vision statements. Customers are 4 to 6 times more likely to purchase from a mission-driven company. Mission statements and vision statements are also a key way to kickstart your organizational development.

So let’s dive into what are mission statements, vision statements, and the difference between them, so you’ll know how, why and when to create each one.

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What Is a Mission Statement?

A mission statement defines the organization’s purpose and overall goals. It’s usually short and sweet, but it’s a great way to attract like-minded people to your organization, who are more likely to stay at your company — and 30% more likely to become high performers.

A great mission statement is your navigational tool, your organization’s compass to guide you toward what you hope to accomplish. It’s where you explain to the world what your company does, what it values, and why it does what it does. 

What Is a Vision Statement? 

A vision statement is anything as short as a sentence (and maybe as long as a short paragraph) that explains the long-term aspirations of your organization. It’s forward-focused and pointing you toward an inspirational future that’s not quite there yet. It’s where you want to be eventually as an organization.

Vision statements aren’t just a nice idea, though. They’re actually a way to improve your organizational motivation. Employees who are familiar with your organization’s vision statement are more motivated to work toward it — together. 

What Comes First, the Mission or Vision Statement?

When you sit down to define your vision and mission statements, which one should you write first? It helps to think of the road trip analogy again. You need a destination before you need to navigate there, so typically organizations will create a vision statement before the mission statement. Creating both of these important pieces can then kickstart growth and the organizational development process

Mission Statement vs. Vision Statement

Now let’s consider what the difference is between a mission statement and a vision statement. There are a couple of key areas where they differ: 


  • Vision statements are for an internal audience. They’re aimed at employees and team members to help motivate them to achieve the big overarching purpose of the organization. 
  • Mission statements are for both an internal and external audience. Company employees need to be familiar with the mission statement and know the key pillars. Customers are also a primary audience, so they can see what your organization stands for. Mission statements (because they’re pointed outward as well) can drive billions of dollars in profits for companies in America. 


  • Vision statements are created to give the organization something to aspire toward. It’s a big picture goal that someday the organization should achieve. The statement can also be oriented toward improving society, the community, and the world. 
  • Mission statements are far more concrete than vision statements. They can also be goals about products, customers, growth, innovation, and finances rather than changing the world. 


  • Vision statements have a big scope. They’re how you plan to change the world. That also means vision statements last for a far longer time. These big picture goals might take decades for the company to accomplish – which is completely fine. 
  • Mission statements are typically designed to cover just the next couple of years. They sometimes include a deadline for accomplishing the goals outlined in the mission statement. They’re shorter reaching and are recreated and reimagined after the company completes a particular goal. 

Vision Statement Examples

To help illustrate the power of vision statements, here are some examples from premier companies you’ll probably recognize. Remember, vision statements are aspirational and mention long-term wishes:

  • Disney: “To be one of the world’s leading producers and providers of entertainment and information.” 
  • Starbucks: “To establish Starbucks as the premier purveyor of the finest coffee in the world while maintaining our uncompromising principles while we grow.” 
  • LinkedIn: “Create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.”

What makes these vision statements so great is that they’re short, punchy, and impactful. These companies seek to be the number one company in their industry or to reach every person in the world. Those are big goals, and that’s why they’re in the vision statements for these companies. 

Tips for Writing a Vision Statement

Feeling inspired by those vision statements? Let’s look at a few of our top tips for how to write a vision statement that’s impactful to your team:

  • Dream big. A vision statement is supposed to be aspirational. It’s your chance to inspire your team and motivate everyone toward a big goal that’s meaningful. So don’t be afraid to dream big and pick a vision statement that’s really going to drive your team to work toward an exciting future. 
  • Make it achievable. That being said, make sure your vision statement is still something that your company can achieve sometime in its existence. If you work at a small business that’s just starting, you might not want your goal to include being the best in your industry in the entire world. Instead, you might want to have your vision goal focus on your community and how you can impact and change your community for the better. 
  • Involve others. The vision statement should reflect the collective values of your company, so it’s good to involve many people and their perspectives. Find some team members who might have interesting or unique perspectives and have them contribute ideas. 
  • Align it with your values. At the end of the day, a successful vision statement will align with your company’s values. So before you add the finishing touches to your vision statement, ensure that it aligns perfectly with what you value. That’ll help create a powerful vision statement that will draw the right team members to your company. 

Mission Statement Examples

Mission statements are hopefully becoming much clearer now. To really help illustrate what they are and the power they have, here are a few examples of mission statements from some top big name companies. These are focused on shorter-term goals and company purpose:

  • Disney: “To entertain, inform, and inspire people around the globe through the power of unparalleled storytelling, reflecting the iconic brands, creative minds and innovative technologies that make ours the world’s premier entertainment company.” 
  • Starbucks: “With every cup, with every conversation, with every community – we nurture the limitless possibilities of human connection.” 
  • LinkedIn: “The mission of LinkedIn is simple: connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.”

These mission statements are powerful and packed with details that really bring them to life, perfectly tied to the companies they represent. These mission statements are also always changing; the Starbucks mission statement is from 2023, in fact. Each of these statements is more detailed than the vision statement while still containing the overall goals of the organization.

Take LinkedIn for example. Their vision is to create economic opportunities for everyone, and their mission is then to connect all of the professionals in the world. By working toward their mission statement, they’re also working toward their overall vision for their company. 

Tips for Writing a Mission Statement

Ready to write your mission statement? Here are some of our top tips for creating an effective mission statement:

  • Focus on your specialties. We bet your company does something really well. Keep what you do best in mind as you craft your mission statement. After all, you should be working toward what you do well and improving in that area, instead of trying to push your company to do something that’s not your specialty. 
  • Consider your customers. Remember that your mission statement also includes your customers, so perhaps add something about how you’ll serve them. 
  • Keep it simple and realistic. While you can shoot for the stars, you still want to make sure your mission is realistic and something you can accomplish in the next few years. You don’t need your mission statement to be crazy long or convoluted. Keep it simple. 
  • Involve your team members. Like with your vision statement, it can be beneficial to include a variety of team members while crafting your mission statement. They can add unique and interesting perspectives that can help you refine your mission. 

Final Thoughts

Mission statements and vision statements are just the beginning of how you can drive organizational development and training. The next step is to focus on your wellness program. Seventy-five percent of HR leaders say their wellness program is very important or extremely important to employee retention, so it’s time to get started developing yours. Talk to a wellbeing specialist today to learn more about supporting employee wellness.

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Wellhub Editorial Team

The Wellhub Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.


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